This week, the Federal Trade Commission released a study of the U.S. credit reporting industry and credit report accuracy.  The study found that five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three nationwide credit reports that could lead them to pay more for financial products.  The study is required under section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

The study evaluated 1,001 consumers and 2,968 credit reports.  Of these totals, the study found that as many as 206 consumers identified material errors in their credit reports.  The most common errors identified were errors in tradeline data (consumer accounts) and collections information.  Another common error was inaccuracies in the header information such as current and previous address, age, and employment.

The FTC study is the first major study to take into consideration all of the primary groups that play a role in the credit reporting industry:  consumers; furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies, including creditors, debt collection agencies, and courts; the Fair Isaac Corporation; and the national consumer reporting agencies.  The FTC will issue a final report on credit report accuracy in 2014.